نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
دانشیار گروه زبان و ادبیات انگلیسی، دانشگاه گیلان
عنوان مقاله [English]
Postmodernism as the last attempt to eradicate the modern “subject”, is irreconcilable with some principles of feminism. From a historical perspective, feminism necessarily defines the feminine identity as opposed to masculine identity, and thus will depend on the authority created by the “subject” which tends to change the masculine subject to feminine subject. Meanwhile, postmodernism is in line with feminism because it helps feminists to get rid of the masculine authority. In Iran, as a society which has experienced a different historical development from that of the western societies, this paradox ends in some results which are not always similar to those in the west. The present article is a theoretical study to trace the signs of this difference, although it is supported by evidence from some Persian novels.
The Iranian interpretation of modern socio-cultural movements and trends can never be the same as the interpretation by Western communities, because, comparatively, Iran has gone through very different historical and socio-cultural experiences. For this very reason, Iranian intellectuals and men of letters have had their own readings of “Postmodernism” and “Feminism” among all the other trends. The present article asks whether it is logical to expect Iranian fiction writers to write postmodern stories, and if so, how much, why and in what ways these stories would be different from those written in Western countries.
2. Theoretical Framework
The article follows a historicist approach in which the major elements involved, in one way or another, in the formation of postmodernism and feminism will be concisely investigated both in the West and in Iran, in order to decide about the common points as well as the points of departure regarding the two movements in both cultures. Such an approach provides the article with the capacity of a deep and versatile understanding of the factors concerned with developing two different interpretations of postmodernism and feminism, one in Western culture and the other in Iranian culture.
Based on the idea of “Three Deaths” put forward by some thinkers of postmodernism and their counter-balances suggested by feminist intellectuals, the article does its best to find out whether the consequences of such a procedure have some counterparts in Iranian contemporary life, in order to be followed then, in some Iranian novels. The results, achieved in this way, will be categorized in a group of concepts and characteristics regularly seen in the selected novels and short stories as the representative of fictions written by women about women.
Our investigation shows that one of the crucial concerns of Iranian women as depicted in the short stories and novels has been “Women’s emancipation”. Women in Iran have struggled for freedom in any possible way. This freedom in all its manifestations, either social or individual, legal or conventional, physical or psychological, has been primarily threatened by a patriarchal culture in which “marriage” is a very fundamental mechanism of exercising authority. That is why all manners of escape, from abandoning marriage to stopping being a lover and just doing the family routine, and from having a secret love affair to running away from home and, at last, to getting divorced are the common forms of getting released from this authority.
Although Iranian women in their very recent history have enthusiastically struggled for actualizing their rights, they have not moved necessarily in the same ways as Western women did. Women storywriters have then narrated this unique experience of Iranian women, disregarding the temptation whether a group of their stories might be called postmodern; nevertheless, their portraits have included quite a number of the images and traits that the so-called postmodern fiction represents.